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  • The Check Podcast

Episode 25: O'Connor Brewing Co.

Kevin O’Connor, founder of O’Connor Brewing Co., visited The Check podcast to discuss the origins and growth of the brewery, the story behind his popular El Guapo beer, the magic of the tasting room, and how to avoid disaster if you’re brewing your own beer.





Episode Transcript

January 11, 2021


Brady Viccellio

If you've ever wondered about what goes on behind the scenes at restaurants, then you're in the right place. This podcast takes you inside the minds of restaurant owners, chefs, bartenders, servers, basically anyone who has anything to do with food, drink or hospitality. I'm Brady Viccellio, owner of Steinhilber’s restaurant, and La Bella Italia on Laskin Road in Virginia Beach. Welcome to The Check podcast.

Alvin Williams

And I'm Alvin Williams, cohost of the check and owner of Cobalt Grille restaurant at hilltop in Virginia Beach. Welcome to our podcast, we'll be talking about restaurants, people who work in restaurants who own restaurants and people who like to dine in restaurants.


Brady Viccellio

Today we are honored to have Kevin O'Connor from O'Connor Brewing. Hey, Kevin, welcome.


Kevin O'Connor

Hey buddy. How you doing?


Alvin Williams

Hey, Kevin, welcome to The Check.


Kevin O'Connor

How you doing Alvin?


Alvin Williams

Doing well, thanks. Happy New Year.


Kevin O'Connor

Happy New Year to both y'all.


Brady Viccellio

Like a lot of people, your college years and involved a lot of beer.


Kevin O'Connor

Yeah, you can say that.


Brady Viccellio

But unlike a lot of people, you made your own.


Kevin O'Connor

Correct.


Brady Viccellio

And that's how you got started in brewing?


Kevin O'Connor

Correct.


Brady Viccellio

How did that really come about?


Kevin O'Connor

It all started when I was in college. I went to Radford for a couple years and I used to go over to Virginia Tech to visit some friends and they had this really cool craft beer bottle shop. Called The Vintage Cellar. And I would go in there every Thursday and buy a bunch of beer, bring them back to my dorm room. You do this for a few months in a row. The guy got to know me. He was like man, you're really into this -- you love import beer. You love American craft beer. You're always asking for new things. Have you ever thought about making your own beer? You know me, I just sat there was like, I don't even know you could do that. And so I bought less beer that day and ended up buying a home brew kit. And I started cooking beer on a hot plate in my dorm room. The RA got a little weirded out on that one. I think he thought I was cooking meth or something.


Brady Viccellio

Homebrew kits are not cheap for college kids.


Kevin O'Connor

Luckily, for me, my dad had put an overdraft protection on my check card. So I didn't even realize you know, but it stopped at one point. On Christmas or Thanksgiving break, he was like “What the hell are you doing up there?”


Brady Viccellio

Even your final college paper was about beer.


Kevin O'Connor

Yep -- kind of two ways of looking at the brew pub situation or a manufacturing facility. It was after my freshman year when I came home. My dad, I think it was more of a ceremonial title. But he was president or head of the Chamber of Commerce at the time. And he said you want to open a brewery. So he ended up hooking up with a guy named Lee Scanlon. He owned Steamship brewing in Norfolk, literally about two blocks from where I'm located now. So I went to work for him. And I loved it. The big machinery, I didn't mind the hard work that it took -- just was enamored with it. That paper – you should just call me doctor now because it took me about eight years to graduate. During that period, home brewing was still going on but on a lesser occasion, had some real work to do work for my dad's company, worked for bars, served at restaurants -- used to work with one of Alvin's partners. And I really loved the hospitality industry. Fortunately for me, that bug never went away and eventually opened up O'Connor Brewing Company. Back then, though you couldn't do what we do now with tasting rooms and things like that. So I went straight into a full-on manufacturing plant. And that was at the urging of my wife, well, girlfriend at the time. She's my wife, now. She was “go do this, if you're going to do this, do it now.” At that time I was working for Cisco foods.


Brady Viccellio

You were a marketing associate?


Kevin O'Connor

Yeah, back then. I think I just wasn't that into it. But then I moved on. And I did what I did, and it's been a lot of fun. You know, the ups and downs, we can get to COVID later. But I mean, being a production facility is way different than what some of my friends have started over the last five to whatever years during the tasting room law. Obviously, we took advantage of it. But at that time, we were already packaging beer and getting it into the grocery stores. And so we needed a much bigger facility.


Alvin Williams

So you mentioned the back in the day, you worked in restaurants. And you said that you worked with my partner Gary Black at Coyote Cafe. Were you into beer way back then? I mean, what was your motivation? Were you trying to, you know, produce some cheaper beer for you because you didn't have much money as a college kid or did you really like the idea of producing your own flavors and stuff?


Kevin O'Connor

So I come from a family that was built on entrepreneurism. My dad owned Twin Bee auto parts. But I mean, yeah, from auto parts to beer making. It's kind of funny. There was always something inside me. That was I'm going to do something myself, or I'm going to take my dad's company and make it bigger or whatever. And those were the founding principles of, hey, working for other breweries, I knew I could do it better, or I thought I could. And I think that's everybody's challenged as an entrepreneur, you think you can do it better? Going back to did I want a cheaper beer. Now, I think I was just more enamored with the fact that you could actually do it and make it I'm be honest with you, the first probably 10 - 15 batches of beer were disgusting. I mean, I wouldn't even serve that to my worst enemy. But it was that trial. And let's try again and oh, well, reading an old book from Sam Calagione from Dogfish Head was inspiring because it was basically like opening up the kitchen, or the refrigerator and finding anything you could throw into it. And, and the beers got worse, but it was still fun. That was during my finishing up my doctorate, as I call it, again, working for restaurants. I sold credit card processing for a little bit. Everything that I was doing, I didn't realize that was aimed back to the hospitality industry. So I thought, you know, as I was still hunkering in the love for this, I want to create something, I want my own business, and I want to do it and for everything from the creation of the product to the marketing of the product, there was always that avenue that I saw as an ends and means and that's people like you. Coming in to the restaurants and talking about my beer and how it will pair well with your food and really getting out there through that avenue. We started draft only first, you know, it was expensive to get into canning and bottling and things like that. But I was not an idiot to realize that this is what I need to be moving towards getting into the groceries and things like that as well.


Alvin Williams

And the learning process for you is that just trial and error is like now with culinary student students, you can go to a culinary school and learn. And then there's the internet now and you can learn from your favorite chefs how to do things. What was the route that you took?


Kevin O'Connor

So with me, there was a lot of school of hard knocks. I remember after I quit Cisco, I went over to St. George brewing over in Hampton and asked for a job and they said, we're not hiring. I said, Well, that's okay. I said, I still want to help. And they said, Well, we can't pay you. And I said, That's even better. Because I just want to learn. That's great. So literally for almost a year I worked there, I think they started feeling sorry for me. So they started paying me a little bit. But it wasn't anything crazy. I had some savings. And again, working nights and bars and stuff like that. I think my passion was more like understanding and learning it than it was to make a lot of money at it.


Alvin Williams

That's true passion there, that’s awesome.


Brady Viccellio

And when they say if you if you love what you do, if you love your work, you never have to work again. It's not work. Yeah.


Kevin O'Connor

Well, I love it. But sometimes it's work.


Brady Viccellio

How many different beers do you have?


Kevin O'Connor

So we have our big system. And then we have our pilot system for like research and development. And I was pulling out the cooler to bring beers to you guys. There's easily 25 different beers in the cooler. I just didn't have that much strength to carry them all.


Brady Viccellio

I was thinking, we visited your place over there. And I mean, you've got so many beers to choose from, I wonder if you could name all your beers or write them down. And eventually, after a couple of weeks, you'd probably got a complete list.


Kevin O'Connor

Over the years, we've easily brewed hundreds of different beers. Again, whether it's 40 cases worth of beers, or whether it's El Guapo, millions of cases of beer, but there's things in the middle that they have been unforgettable for me. There's been things that I'm like, wow, we got to bring that back one day because it was so good.


Brady Viccellio

With El Guapo, that's one of the fastest growing beers in Virginia. That's your agave IPA. Can you tell us some more about that beer and why you think it was such a good hit?


Kevin O'Connor

You know, there's, there's the old adage of you can either brand the house or have a house of brands. And I think we as a company have done a great job of doing both. El Guapo I remember was I think our fourth or fifth beer we made. And back then, you know we had our Norfolk Indian Pale Ale, our Red Nun Red Ale, our Green Can Gold Aale. Fourth one was the Great Dismal Black IPA, and everybody kept asking when are you going to make an IPA once we have this great black IPA that you would think you would love? And they're like, No, no, like, like an IPA IPA, like everybody else is doing. So we sat back and we knew we're gonna make something but we wanted to do something a little bit different. And there was beers like Hopslam from Bell’s. You know, I still think Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. To me it's still an IPA even though they call it a Pale Ale, but those are the ones that I wanted to emulate. For me, I use agave in my coffee. So we're sitting there messing around a little test batch a little, basically a homebrew kit in our old brewery and called the guys got together. And I said, you know, what, what do you think about adding in agave into this mix. And what I've noticed with it, it became a beer, the liquid itself became a beer of balance, not too much hops in your face, you know, obviously, it's got a seven and a half percent alcohol behind it. So it gave it that kind of bang for your buck. So then we started thinking of coming up with names, we're going to name this, we're going to name this and I said, Well, what about like something like El Capitan, or something like that? And granted at the time, and even right now, I think there's my dad, who's my CFO, there's like, there's anybody older than me in the company than my dad. I'm still like the old man now at the brewery. And when we came with a name, I said, “What about El Guapo?” And the guys are working with me back then thought it was hilarious. They didn't know what it meant. And then of course, I showed them, you know, the film and they're like, Whoa, that's hilarious. Let's do it. Let's do it. I think it's a great idea. So a buddy of mine, an artist, drew out the picture for us. We made a tap handle label for it. And then all of a sudden, it just kind of went gangbusters. And when we moved it into package, as you can see this, there's been a couple little moderation or modernization I would say, of the package throughout the time, but it's become one of those Virginia staples, and people just keep seeming to be drinking it.


Alvin Williams

It's definitely become like, people would ask for Budweiser and Bud Light or something, they asked for El Guapo. At least they do in my restaurant. Kevin, some of our listeners may not know what agave is, and why it would be strange to interject it into beer. So if you wouldn't mind explaining that, and also the film, El Guapo. What's that about? I haven't seen that.


Kevin O'Connor

Oh, well, the film is the Three Amigos with Chevy Chase and Steve Martin. El Guapo as the bad guy in the movie.


Alvin Williams

Oh, yeah. I should have known that.


So agave is a natural sweetener. It's also used and it can be used in distilled spirits for tequila and stuff like that. We use organic, raw agave, we actually have it shipped in from Mexico via California. And I want to say we're one of the largest buyers on the east coast of agave. We’ll just have pallets of it. And it's amazing.


Alvin Williams

So with so many different beers, and is it flavors? Is that what you call them, Kevin, flavors?


Kevin O'Connor

Styles. Yeah.


Alvin Williams

So do you formulate recipes that you keep so that two years later, you can come back and make that old favorite again?


Kevin O'Connor

100%? I mean, if it was analog, it'd be binders full.


Alvin Williams

And is that something that you patent and keep as yours? Or do people try and rip off your different styles?


Kevin O'Connor

We've had a lot of great brewers learn from us and move on and open up their own great breweries. I hate to believe that they're going to go and try to make the exact same liquid. But at the end of the day, if somebody else put agave in their beer, what am I going to do? I mean, it is what it is, I think, with me, there is a lot of beers that we've made. And we keep an eye out, especially through our tasting room, what I call our liquid center, to get an idea what the customer thinks, and whether it's a small batch, and it's like man that flew out of here, we sometimes will move it up into what we call our freestyle series, which is a little bit bigger production. And then from there, it may find itself into our offer seasonal, which is our seasonal program that goes into the grocery stores. So it's really helped us stay creative in this world of chaos called social media, and what's new, what's new, what's new, and trends and everything like that. It's really helped not only us as a company, but it's helped our brewer stay creative. It's helped me want to keep doing this, keep the passion alive. But it's also allowed us to bring actual data to our wholesalers and say, “This is why we're doing this. This is why we're moving this into this position right now.” We're going to do this for a year or two, and then see how it goes. And again, once the consumer wanes, and we have a lot of backup behind it.


Brady Viccellio

Go back to the beginning. I think you started your brewery in 2008 when we were feeling the effects of that recession.


Kevin O'Connor

Technically 2009.


Brady Viccellio

Sortly after but still, kind of the recession.


Kevin O'Connor

Oh yeah.


Brady Viccellio

What was that like? How were those early years?


Kevin O'Connor

I had raised a half a million dollars in five minutes. And I still remember the day when I was sitting on my couch and I was watching like a CNBC or something like that and just started seeing the stock market crash. I remember thinking, Okay, this is fine. You know, these people have, you know, family friends. They got this, it's gonna be fine. It's fine. And then I got really nervous, like, the next day when it was still just plummeting. And I remember picking up the phone and talking to my dad, and my parents were living in Key West at the time, and I talked to him and he's like, “Hey, man, we've got to skirt back. We got to figure this out now.” I knew right then and there that this was going to be a lot harder than I was led to believe. So we actually, you know, the quintessential bootstrap it up. I bought used equipment. I did a lot of the wiring myself. I did some of the plumbing myself really just kind of jack legged it together. I mean, I hate to say it worked, but who did you know I still remember the day we set our sights. Hell or high water we were going to brew beer March 17. St. Patrick's Day, fittingly for an O'Connor. But 2010. And that was it. We were going to do this. I remember that day. Specifically, I have my other picture of me and my Irish little hat. And my son who was I think three at the time. He's 13. Now, so 10 years ago. Yeah, he was in my arms. Basically a refrigeration unit, the glycol chiller, we hadn't even had that hooked up yet to keep the tanks cool. So this is all kind of gonna be like, just for pictures. We're gonna make it just dump it down the drain kind of thing. And the mechanical guys were out there. And they were they literally plugged it in fast enough, and tied it all in and had glycol running by the time our batch was done. And that batch actually went out to market -- that was Norfolk Canyon.


Brady Viccellio

It was a proud moment, I guess.


Kevin O'Connor

Yeah, it was scary. Yeah, but we did it. You know, at the end of the day, it's like, okay, we're just this X amount of 100 pounds of grain, we'll just get on the drain if not.


Alvin Williams

And so what we're doing here is tasting your beers, a little bit of this, a little bit of that. And I like to do that because I'm not a huge beer drinker, because I kind of get bloated with it. But this is perfect because it's like tasting a flight. And Brady and I have been to your place and we've seen the board where the descriptions are on the different names. And that's kind of cool. I wanted to know if you do all that or if you staff helps.


Kevin O'Connor

It’s all staff.


Brady Viccellio

Your facilities amazing. By the way, if anybody listening hasn’t visited O’Connor Brewing. it's great. I mean, it's just awesome. Just to walk in there and grab a beer.


Kevin O'Connor

Thank you. I appreciate that.


Brady Viccellio

I had the Nitro ODIS, what that stand for?


Kevin O'Connor

O’Connor’s Dry Irish Stout. There we go. This past year, we won the Great American Beer Festival gold medal. Three years ago, we won the World Beer Cup, and we won four years in a row. We've won the Dublin, Ireland International Championships, and we've beat Guinness every time.


Brady Viccellio

Wow.


Alvin Williams

Are you there and present for these things?


Kevin O'Connor

With COVID this year, we did not go to the Great American Beer Festival – it was virtual. I was down in the Outer Banks and went on an offshore fishing trip. We were up all night the night before we went fishing all day. We came back we had dinner. I crashed early. I woke up to 75 texts.


Brady Viccellio

Oh, that's awesome.


Kevin O'Connor

And I was like, What the hell is going on? You know, and we won the Great American Beer Festival.


Brady Viccellio

I love Guinness. And having that ODIS is great. Maybe I’ve got a new favorite. It was great.


Kevin O'Connor

Thank you. I love it. I mean, think I'm saying I said one last night, I bought it my wife was looking at me like, “Really? Just knocking back a stout?” When this thing hit, I still remember March 14, that was when we were about to celebrate our 10th anniversary. And when we started seeing the cases coming and all the news of the doom and gloom, we had to make a call and we canceled our 10th anniversary message as fast as we could out on social media that this is going to be very COVID friendly. We've canceled a few bands. If you guys don't want to come that'd be great. And it wasn't the same party as it was years and past. And it was it was unfortunate, but then all of a sudden shut down. And it was like okay, what do we do now? So we moved immediately to go. And I was lucky enough that people really supported that. There was a thing that we called in the industry, pantry loading. And I was lucky that we were already in the grocery stores for so many years and we had these nice sets we call them you know the grocery sets in the in the coolers and stuff like that. But the amount of beer that people were hoarding like toilet paper, it was just insane. People were going in and buying as much beer as possible and that was really our saving grace. They were hoarding beer. You Well, yeah, that kept everybody, our entire production team. No one had, besides the holidays and paid time off and stuff like that. And we're our own little bubble. And it's been great. I mean, granted, I think there was, you know, in the heat of summer working on a bottle line and can line, I think some of them are a little disgruntled with, and, you know, everybody else's. You know, you look at the people that didn't go back to work, and I used to sit there and have to keep morale up. And, you know, 2020 was a horrible year for all of us are all of us, you know, the way you know, again, I don't want to get into politics. I'm a good Irish Catholic. We don't talk about politics or religion, we drink but, you know, whatever side you lean on, right? It was it was a hellacious year for this. And then on top of that a pandemic.


Alvin Williams

You know, you wanted to celebrate your 10th year. So I wanted to celebrate my 20th year. And that got put off. And you know, there's plenty of other restaurants as well. But like, you know, there's lots of our friends who own restaurant like Walter Mizuno, he's, yeah, he's wanting to celebrate his 25th year, and you know, he can he's got to put it on hold. I mean, there's a lot of us who have written these mileposts that we're proud of, and want to celebrate with our guests, and our customers and our friends. And we just were not physically able to do that because of the virus.


Kevin O'Connor

Yeah. Time stopped.


Brady Viccellio

Yeah, yeah, I've said it so many times. You just lose track of time.


Kevin O'Connor

I can't do the math, but 1939 here.


Brady Viccellio

Yeah. 81 years. So we're just now in our 82nd year.


Kevin O'Connor

Wow.


Alvin Williams

So this beer is delicious. And I'm looking at the bottles and the cans and the artwork and we noticed the artwork on the banners or the facility. Are you a budding artist or do you have someone in particular who does this for you?


Kevin O'Connor

A lot of the artwork that you're seeing right now came from Anthony Brown—he has done a great job with a lot of our brands, the beer, the Hip Hop Anonymous, that was a beer series of beers that we wanted to put together, the craze of the hazy IPAs and things like that we wanted to put together a series that could go out into the grocery stores and compete like that. And, you know, the whole project between hip hop was to focus on different hops that we're doing. You look at my vans and my Pumas that I wear all the time. You know, I do like some hip hop music.


But we what we started doing with this project was we started going out into the community and finding local street artists that could put together artwork that we thought would be killer on a can that would be killer on a side of a building. Once we got a few artists together. We threw it onto a label. This is volume four. And so we have five coming out soon and six, seven. And it was supposed to be Volume One and beyond. But now you know, there's some people who are really digging it so we might bring some back in column remixes. This has done really well we put this out into the grocery store, we actually gave Kroger the first to market it became their fastest growing skew in their stores in Virginia. So now it's all over and I think people get a chance to everyday drinkers can get a chance to try it.


Brady Viccellio

Since I haven't done homebrew. I've never met a beer I didn’t like. I guess if I made it myself. I probably would.


Kevin O'Connor

So I my brewers are working right now, but I'm very honest. Sorry, and I'm sure that's good.


Alvin Williams

I just tasted the SNAX!, Yeah. Chocolate milk stout. Wow. That's impressive. Yeah, sorry. I didn't mean to interrupt, but I just got a little chill up my spine.


Kevin O'Connor

Well, I'm sure like Alvin in the back of the house. You will be like how you want things how it should be and things like that. There's been plenty of beer that's come through that I didn't like and we put it on tap because it was already made.


Brady Viccellio

And this is at the brewery to test it out?


Kevin O'Connor

Yeah, in house and we put out the brewery and it sells like gangbusters right?


Alvin Williams

Is that because you put it on specials right?


Kevin O'Connor

Dollar pints everyone! I just really never tasted a good -- and I don't want to make anybody mad -- but I really don't like hefeweizens our head Brewer Kane, put together a hefeweizen and I told him I said I don't care. I don't really want to taste that, I think it is gross. I think these beers are nasty. And he finished the product and I don't know if he's out of town or something but it went up on draft and I came in and someone's like, have you tried the hefeweizen yet? I was like, No, I don't want it, you know? And so I was like, fine, fine, you know, so I put a little sample of it. And it was really good. He did a good job. I gotta be honest with you. I tell him all the time. You know, I may not like the beer, right? But the consumer may and I don't have to be right all the time.


Alvin Williams

Can't please all the people all the time. That's your personal preference. You may not like, you know, like some people like dark beers. Yeah. And they don't like light beers is correct.


Brady Viccellio

I think we both go through the same thing with food. And sometimes we there's things that aren't our cup of tea.


Alvin Williams

Yeah, you are an ultra snob when it comes to food. Like, well, in reverse -- don't like the super fancy high end, finicky fuzzy stuff that I somewhat appreciate. Okay, yeah.


Brady Viccellio

That is not your thing. Uni foam is not my favorite thing to eat. Oh, this is the best UnI foam.


Alvin Williams

But I would try it. You would look at it.



Brady Viccellio

I’d try it. And then spit it out.


Kevin O'Connor

The classic question, I guess for you would be do you eat your fried shrimp?


Brady Viccellio

Hell yeah.


Kevin O'Connor

Oh, yeah. Sorry, bad one.


Alvin Williams

But I also like his grilled shrimp and he gets mad at me because I sometimes prefer the grilled shrimp over his fried shrimp.


Brady Viccellio

I don't get mad.


Alvin Williams

So Kevin, going back to the early days when you first brewing your own beer, and you had all these ups and downs and pitfalls, what advice would you give to someone who might be interested in brewing beer at home? You know, how would you tell them to avoid the rookie mistakes that you made?


Kevin O'Connor

Cleanliness is next to godliness? Yeah, you're more of a janitor and a cleaner than anything. Because at the end of the day, if you put the liquid together, right, you're making basically making a sugary soup, sauce and the yeast, the yeast is going to do all the work for you. So it's temperature control, it's keeping everything as clean as possible, so you don't infect anything. After that. I think everybody should give it a whirl. Let me let me restate this. Don't do it in your kitchen, you are going to make a mess. And so the bathtub is preferred well, or like if you have like an old turkey fryer or something like that. Do it outside if you can. Because you're going to have boil overs. Again, it's very, you're converting that starch into sugar, and it becomes very, very sticky. And if it blows everywhere, inside your house, then you're going to be -- whether your wife roommate or whatever, you're going to have a lot of cleanup to do.


Brady Viccellio

That’s some good advice.


Alvin Williams

What you're doing seems to be very, to me, it sounds like pastry making no baking because it's so scientific. But then you got the flavor aspect to you know, you got to bring it all together.


Kevin O'Connor

Put some boots on come on over and brew with us.


Brady Viccellio

That would be fun – we should.


Alvin Williams

I'm gonna try and do some different things this year. So yeah, thanks for the invitation. I'll be there.


Kevin O'Connor

So I've said so many times when COVID had, you know, many people who came to me, “Hey, what is your take on this?” I was really more worried about my friends in the restaurant business, because I could see how I don't want to get sick or I don't want to come in and you have to shut down all this kind of stuff. And, and I do believe that if there was a federal response, we could have gotten through this quicker. But at the end of the day, you guys create an experience. I absolutely love going to restaurants. I want those days to come back. It's always you know, ego aside, it was always fun to go to a bar and or go to your restaurant and see that even if I didn't, no offense, because every time I've been to your restaurant, I drink wine or vodka.


Alvin Williams

As long as you’re drinking something, I'm okay.


Kevin O'Connor

I think to me, it's really was always cool to see my tap and watching people drink it. And I just want those days to come back I I feel the pain for the restaurant industry across America that just can't seem to get the help they need so desperately right now.


Alvin Williams

It’s got to be proud moments when you see people actually drinking what you have provided and made. I mean, that's got to be pretty cool. I mean, like we in restaurants, we get food and we put it together and it's kind of different.


Brady Viccellio

It's kind of like if you went to a to a restaurant in Blacksburg and somebody was eating your dish. Yeah, it's like Cobalt Grille Virginia Beach penne pasta.


Brady Viccellio

All right. Lightning round.


Alvin Williams

Oh, yeah. All right. Yeah, we're for this one. All right. What is your favorite movie and you cannot say el guapo.


Kevin O'Connor

The Godfather If it comes on TV, my son's just like, you're watching it again. Yes, I am. I'm in for three hours. Don't talk to me.


Brady Viccellio

Favorite meal?


Kevin O'Connor

I always joked that my dying meal is a Norfolk snap dog, hot dog, Jimmy the Greek in Virginia Beach and Tony's in Norfolk. My wife hates when I say this, but I do I'm I love hot dogs for some reason.


Brady Viccellio

Hot dogs are good.


Alvin Williams

Yeah. Are you traditional with them?


Kevin O'Connor

Mustar, chili and onions. That's it. If you if you put ketchup on it. That's not a good thing to do. You know, they didn't even back in the day, Jimmy’s and Tony's didn’t even have ketchup in there. And if you askedI think they would ask you to leave.


Alvin Williams

So what is your favorite beverage?


Kevin O'Connor

Everyone is going to always think it's beer. Yeah. I love beer. Don't get me wrong.


Alvin Williams

That's like a busman's holiday. You go home at the end of the day and drink a beer. Yeah, not so you know.


Kevin O'Connor

So I love beer, but I drink a lot of red wine at home.


Alvin Williams

So if you weren't doing this, what would you be doing? Well, what would be your other dream job?


Kevin O'Connor

You know? At one point, I wanted to be a marine biologist. Just because I like the ocean. I like surfing and I like fishing and boating and things like that.


Brady Viccellio

George Costanza.


Kevin O'Connor

Yeah, but then the science. Yeah, I didn't want to pull golf balls out of whales.


Brady Viccellio

Best advice you've ever received?


Williams

Or given?


Kevin O'Connor

Things that I've given and have received as, especially in the entrepreneurial world, there's going to be many ups and downs. Just stay true to yourself, be passionate about what you're trying to do. And just stick with it. You know, I have heard over and over again, if you find something you truly love, you'll never work a day in your life. I actually believe that.


Alvin Williams

If you could be someone else for a day, who would it be?


Kevin O'Connor

If I was gonna have a beer with somebody. I would love to have had a beer in his prime with like Sean Connery or Marlon Brando. I don't know if I want to be them. Right. But I think I'd like to just kind of hang out with them.


Alvin Williams

Small claim to fame. I cooked for Sean Connery. Many years ago.


Brady Viccellio

He recently passed, right? Another casualty of 2020.


Alvin Williams

Yeah, he did. But he lived in a hotel in London. And there were apartments there. And he lived in one of the apartments. Part of growing up in those hotel industries, you have to work the night shift. And he ordered a late night meal and I cooked it for him and he enjoyed it. It was one of those things that keeps you going when someone says hey, I like what you did. And then I don't want to butcher a Scottish accent.


Brady Viccellio

If I could have the eggs benedict.


Kevin O'Connor

Bring the chef up here. I want to talk to him now.


Alvin Williams

Kevin, thanks for being here with us and telling us about your Brewing Company where where can people find your brews and your list and you have a website or Instagram?


Kevin O'Connor

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, O'Connor brewing on all those and O'Connorbrewing.com.


Alvin Williams

What is your address location in Norfolk?


Kevin O'Connor

It's 211 West 24th Street, Norfolk 23517.


Alvin Williams

Well, once again, thanks for being here with us on the check. And hopefully we'll talk to you again another time and happy new year for 2021.


Kevin O'Connor

Happy New Year. Both y'all.


Brady Viccellio

Thank you. Happy New Year and you can check out the check at thecheckpodcast.com and see the pictures from this episode, other episodes, transcripts, links.


Alvin Williams

All of that. Well, I'm Alvin.


Brady Viccellio

And I’m Brady, and this is The Check.


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